The temple is oriented north-south, with the door on the northern side. The building features freestanding columns only at the front, which belong to the so-called Corinthian order. These slender columns are topped with capitals that feature ornately-cut acanthus leaves. The outer walls of the Maison Carrée feature engaged columns. As an aside, the Corinthian order was much more popular among the Romans than the Greeks.
Thanks to renovations carried out between 2006 and 2011, the temple today is a stark white colour, especially in bright sunlight, as if it’s made from marble. It’s not, however: local limestone called “lens stone” was used in its construction: it contains 99.75% calcium carbonate, making it look like marble. (Limestone is a form of sedimentary rock, whereas marble is metamorphic.)
After the fall of Rome, the temple saw continuous use from at least the eleventh century onwards, including, at one point, as a church. This continued use of the structure explains how it’s managed to survive through the centuries. Many other ancient buildings made from quality stone were often used as quarries, with the stone hauled away to build new structures.
Today, the inner room of the temple is used to show a video to visitors about the history of Nîmes. Detailed information about the temple can also be found on the dedicated website created and maintained by the city of Nîmes. Tourists might also want to visit the official website of the Arena, Maison Carrée, and the Augustan fortification tower: three archaeological highlights that are worth seeing with your own eyes when you’re in Nîmes.